Coffee Talk with Branded Collective

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing one of the founders of Branded Collective, the social enterprise that employs survivors of human trafficking - the same survivors that created the copper cuff you'll find in this season's box! It has been a blast working with Branded and learning more about their mission. Dive into the passion behind these beautiful products...
  1. What led you and your partner to create Branded Collective? What is your background with the cause?
    1. Emily (the other founder) and I met through a community group at church. As we became friends, we realized that we both had the desire to help survivors of trafficking and to raise awareness in some way. I told Emily about my idea to someday create a fashion-based social enterprise to raise awareness and funds for the cause. Emily took that idea and ran with it, creating a vision and the really fleshing out the “how” for our company. We began meeting weekly to discuss ideas for how to start the business, and about a year later we launched our first BRANDED product line.
  2. Tell us a little about your mission.
    1. Our mission is to empower survivors of trafficking through meaningful employment and economic independence. We also hope to inspire each of our employees to rediscover the dreams she has lost and be motivated to go forth and pursue them. We seek to unite a collective of survivors and patrons who work together to advance the abolition of human trafficking.
  3. Tell us what led you to create the products you have.
    1. When we first launched our company, we started with a t-shirt collection. To earn our start-up capital, we sold 100 small aluminum BRANDED cuffs for $100 a piece. We sold them in less than two months, and after those first 100, we found that people still wanted the cuffs. So, we just kept stamping! We have evolved over the years from a clothing line to a jewelry line, all because of the BRANDED cuff. We have expanded the cuff line to include three metals in four different sizes. We also now sell earrings, necklaces and leather wrap and snap cuffs.
  4. What is the one thing you wish everyone knew about your mission/cause?
    1. I wish people knew that human trafficking happens everywhere. Most of the time when we talk to people at events, they think the issue is something that only happens in the developing world. However 22 of the 23 survivors we have employed in the last two years have been from the U.S. I’ve learned that survivors are everywhere and they come from all kinds of backgrounds and have so many different stories.
  5. What has been the most rewarding part of your work?
    1. Definitely the work we have done with the survivors! The best part of any week is when Emily and I get to go in and make jewelry alongside these awesome women who are our employees and friends. Seeing them learn new skills, earn a living and then move on to the next step in their journey is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done yet.
  6. Can you share an awesome story with us about the survivors?
    1. A couple of months ago, one of our former employees was at her place of employment and met someone who was wearing a cuff that she made! She was so excited that she texted me immediately to share the crazy news. The patron was thrilled to meet the woman whose initial she wears on her wrist every day and who she had prayed for and thought of for so long. How cool! :) 

The passion behind this amazing organization is unmatched. We are thrilled to be sharing the story of these survivors with you ladies - together we can change the story. If you haven't ordered your Fall Box yet, there is still time to get amazing products that help further causes such as the one above.

Get 10% off of your Fall Box on a quarterly membership with code: EMPOWER  

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